Las Vegas No Longer Divorce Capital

Posted: 10 July, 2020

Since the day the first settlers arrived in Nevada, the state has had a less than stellar reputation. The state itself is known for its widespread gambling and looser restrictions on some activities than other states. Reno is known as “Sin City” and Las Vegas is known to be a mecca for gambling and quickie weddings. For many years, Nevada itself was known as the Divorce Capital of the US. To obtain a divorce in Nevada, neither party had to show fault on the part of their spouse. This made divorces less complicated and easier to expedite in Nevada. Nevada’s divorce laws were actually established in 1861, three years before the territory received statehood. These laws were much less stringent than the divorce laws in almost every other state. Once Nevada’s divorce laws were established and the state relaxed its residency requirements, American citizens began heading westward to obtain their divorces.

The divorce trade in Nevada became particularly lucrative in the early part of the twentieth century. Divorces remained the state’s main trade for several decades until gambling was legalized in the state. The divorce trade was so strong, the profits from the breakup of nuptials actually carried the state through the Great Depression, while other areas of the country lay in shambles.

While income from the gambling trade surpassed the divorce trade in the middle part of the twentieth century, Nevada remained the best place to obtain a divorce, as the divorce laws remained the same. As well, other states refused to relax their requirements on proving fault. Many states had other strict requirments on divorces, such as lengthy waiting periods and paperwork requirements. However, in last several decades most states have dropped their fault requirements. This allows a person to file for a divorce at any time, for just about any reason. Now that people can request a divorce in their state at will, there remains no reason to run to Nevada to be free of one’s spouse. As a result, the state has lost its infamous reputation as the Divorce State.